God proposes a new covenant

“Then, I will be your God. You will be my people.” This line from the declaration in Jeremiah today is so easily passed over – and yet this covenant declaration lies at the heart of the Hebrew scriptures. Our Lenten journey has been examining the...

A God who is rich in mercy

Beginnings and endings are always significant. How you start a story – and how you end a story create so much of the impact of the whole story. We know well how the Bible begins – “In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the...

A covenant people at Sinai

One of the great problems with a passage like the Ten Commandments is that we tend to read them with little sense of the context or the who or where of what is happening. Until we do this work, then these commandments, like the rest of the 613 mitzvot (plural of...

Abraham and the bound sacrifice of Isaac

Our first reading from Genesis 22 is often regarded as one of the finest examples of a short story in all or Western literature. In 19 short verses, the reader is taken on a terrible and shocking journey along with Abraham and Isaac – your only son, the son that you...

Wilderness now redeemed

As we move into the new season of Lent accompanied by the Gospel of Mark, the starkness of the presentation of the testing in the wilderness in Mark becomes quickly apparent. Whereas the other synoptic Gospels offer us more detailed descriptions including the fasting,...

Jesus and the isolated leper

Today in the Gospel (Mark 1:40-45Mark 1:40-45English: World English Bible - WEB40 There came to him a leper, begging him, kneeling down to him, and saying to him, “If...

Service of a Woman Disciple

We continue the day in the life of Jesus that the Gospel of Mark famously opens with. The four new disciples of Jesus travel with him as he leaves the synagogue and the now freed formerly possessed person and goes to the house of Simon and Andrew, where they find...

Exercising Authority

Authority and power are words that we are uncomfortable with, especially given the ways that in the church and wider society too often authority has been abused. Yet is central to the biblical message. Authority is a translation of the Greek word exousia, which means...

Continuing to leave our nets behind

Growing up on a farm that had been in my family for several generations on the south coast of NSW, my brothers and I were aware of the desire that my father had that one of us would continue the tradition and farm the land. Once we had each moved away to study and...

John the witness as humble evangelist

In the Gospel of John, like in the other gospels as well, the figure of John the Baptizer is deeply significant. But here in this gospel, the story and witness of John is interwoven into the magnificent 18 verse prologue. The first section of the gospel then moves...

My child in whom I delight

The transition from the season of Christmas and the gathering around the manger scene to the arrival of the Magi to this feast of the Baptism of the Lord and the beginning of the public ministry of Jesus is a rapid one. We meet the adult Jesus who is presented as the...

Epiphany – the nativity in the Gospel of Matthew

So we arrive at the feast of the Epiphany and the customary three wise men make their way from their hiding place elsewhere on the sanctuary or in the sacristy to their appointed places in the manger nativity scene, joining the shepherds, angels and animals in...

The doubt and faith of Abraham

As we reflect on the place of family this Sunday, the liturgy offers us the example of four very different yet faithful people in the Gospel of Luke in Mary, Joseph, Simeon and Anna. The other readings provide us with the foundational example of faith in Abram and...

God has drawn near in love

  I love technology. I love the fact that Google Maps is able to navigate you around traffic snarls – often allowing you to take the exit just before all the traffic has built up on the motorway. So cool! I was in Brisbane a couple of weeks ago for a...

Mary and Gabriel

The scene that is presented in the Gospel today is one of my favourites. We read from the Gospel of Luke, chapter 1, verses 26-38. The angel Gabriel appears to announce the birth of a child and follows the pattern established in the Hebrew Scriptures: the angel says,...
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